CELTIC boss Brendan Rodgers has revealed he thought Aberdeen might run out of steam in Saturday’s epic Scottish Cup Final encounter.
The Dons came out the traps at 100 miles per hour at Hampden and shocked the champions when they took an early lead before the Hoops came back to win with Tom Rogic’s stoppage-time piece of magic.
Rodgers admitted he was always confident Derek McInnes’ players would be unable to sustain the high-pressing game and was hopeful that his team would have chances late on.
Asked if he thought the Pittodrie game plan would tire them out, he answered: “I thought it could do.
“I was aware of the conditioning and fitness of our team. When you try to stop a team building up, you have to press high up the pitch and don’t give them time to recover.“They played quite a specific man-marking game, so the condition of our players has to be at a high level.
“You have to take the opponent for a walk and eventually when you’re making passes and passes and passes, they start to tire.“That was the message at half-time – just keep moving the ball. Be patient and don’t be hurried and then the spaces will open up. As you saw, in the last half hour of the game they started to tire a wee bit.“It’s not that they’re not fit. It’s a tactic in the game and it’s also the quality of the other team. If the other team can’t keep the ball and move it, find different positions, they will get a rest.
“But we didn’t allow them too many rests in the second-half.”